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Is the New Testament Reliable?

October 21, 2011

Just read an insightful article on the New Testament, and in particular the manuscripts that have been dug up over the years.  It also focuses on manuscripts found in Egypt that have been dated to the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, quite remarkable given how rare such findings are.  Have a read here at the link below:

http://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/2011/09/the-reliability-of-the-new-testament-scriptures-part-1

Team of Researchers Simulate Photosynthesis, kinda.

October 11, 2011

Two separate research teams out of MIT and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been able to somewhat simulate photosynthesis.

Photo: MIT

One team focused on converting CO2 to CO, and one team focusing on the energy storage process and creation of Oxygen from water. Plants do all these processes very efficiently, especially compared to the current discoveries.  According to PCWorld:

Of course, both processes are still slow and rather inefficient — problems that have plagued the field since its beginning. But it’s still in its early days, and the working models can be used as inspiration for optimization experiments — now that there’s an example of a working hydrogen-generating solar cell, other researchers can refine the structure and the chemistry of the device.

This would lead to the question, if it takes groups of bright researchers to make a rudimentary system, how do plants have such a highly effective system in place already?  Random chance?!  Hardly.

Further evidence to support that God created this world.

Source [MIT via PCWorld]

Can we rely on the Bible?

September 6, 2011

I was recently engaged with an individual who has questioned the validity and veracity of the Bible, and I’ve realized that I haven’t really tackled this issue on this blog.  It is now at the top of my to-do list for this site, but it will take time to fully compile all of my thoughts and understanding into one document.  My usual quick answer to people who ask is this:

We can rely on the Bible because of the depth/volume of manuscripts available, the various archaeological findings that verify Biblical accounts,  and the various prophecies that came true.

In the meantime, while I was perusing the Adventist Review site today, they so happened to have a feature article on why we can accept the Bible as an authoritative document.  You can read the article for yourself here.  I will just quote some pertinent points from the article as to why we can rely on the Bible.

With Jesus as its source and incarnation, the authority of the written Word can be considered from the standpoint of internal and external evidence. By internal evidence, we refer to what is inherently true of the Bible for it to be considered authoritative. External evidence refers to factors outside the Bible that witness to its authority. Some might question one or more of these pieces of evidence, but taken together they constitute a powerful argument for the continuing authority of the Bible.8

Internal Evidence of the Bible’s Authority. Two major reasons for believing in God and His Word are Creation and prophecy. Regarding Creation, He has no equal (see Isa. 40:25). None of the many ancient stories about Creation compares to His simple, elegant reporting of His one-week miracle in Genesis 1 and 2.

I will occasionally post articles on creation on this blog, showing why the Bible’s creation account is the most logical explanation as to how this world got here.   I haven’t really touched upon Biblical prophecy on this site yet, but it is another strong point.  Aside from the numerous prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus, the other big prophecy that stand out in my mind is Daniels statue, predicting the major world powers in succession (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome).  The article mentions the same prophecy and provides another example :

In another prophecy Daniel predicted another destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple after Messiah’s death and the end of the 70 weeks of years (Dan. 9:24-27). Micah’s prophecy of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) was also remarkably fulfilled (Matt. 2:5, 6). Thus, Jesus could speak of prophecy’s inviolability (Luke 24:26, 44), and Peter could consider its fulfillment as more convincing than miracles and eyewitness experiences (2 Peter 1:16-21).

The article then sites a third reason, internal consistency:

A third reason for accepting the Bible’s divine authority is its theological consistency. Although written over a period of about 1,500 years by nearly 40 different authors, the Bible’s amazing harmony permitted Jesus to show two discouraged travelers “in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27, NKJV). Paul also, by his multiple quotations from various Old Testament books, emphasizes both Scripture’s consistency and its uniform authority, despite the varied personality and individuality of its many writers (Rom. 3:10-19).

The Bible’s eyewitness testimony is itself a double basis for respecting its authority. For one thing it is written by people who experienced God’s revelation. As John explained, “We saw. . . and testify . . . and proclaim . . . the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us” (1 John 1:1).

After talking about external evidence, which includes the aforementioned manuscripts and archaelogy, the article concludes with the following;

The Bible’s authority is grounded in its origin as a revelation from God to human beings. At the same time, as free moral agents we are not compelled to accept this authority but are free to reject it and put another authority in its place if we so choose. We are expected to accept the authority of the Bible, not on blind faith, but rather on the weight of reasonable evidence. By the testimony of Creation, by the reliability of prophecy, by the miracle of its preservation and transmission, and by the corroboration of its accuracy through external sources, God has given us more than adequate evidence, both internal and external, to support our faith in Scripture as God’s inspired and authoritative Word.

I highly recommend checking out the full article to get a best grasp of why we can rely on the Bible as the Word of God.  I’ll definitely expand more on this topic in a future post, so keep your eye out for that.

Sunday law is coming?

September 5, 2011

There are many that have said that a Sunday law will never happen, and we’re even moving away from it.  Dr. Walter Veith shows them in the following video how wrong they are.  Check it out:

 

The early church kept the Sabbath.

September 5, 2011

As a follow-up to earlier posts showing that early Christians kept the Sabbath, here is an interesting quote I came across.

“Then the spiritual seed of Abraham fled to Pella, on the other side of the Jordan, where they found a safe place of refuge, and could serve their Master and keep his Sabbath” – Eusebius’s “Ecclesiastical History” Book 3, Chap. 5

According to Eusebius, the early Church fled Jerusalem, just before the Romans attacked and destroyed the City circa 66-70 AD.

This reinforces the truth, that the Sabbath still was valid to believers after the death of Christ, and is still valid today.

IBM creates computer chip that models human brain.

August 18, 2011

According to Venturebeat,

[IBM has] created the basic design of an experimental computer chip that emulates the way the brain processes information.

IBM’s so-called cognitive computing chips could one day simulate and emulate the brain’s ability to sense, perceive, interact and recognize — all tasks that humans can currently do much better than computers can.

If it takes this much brain power to even begin to replicate a human brain, what are the chances that Mother Nature, i.e. Natural Selection, had in randomly mutating such a powerful computer?

What is slim to none, Alex?

Via Engadget

Sabbath and Sunday… can I keep both days?

August 5, 2011

I received an email from a reader recently,  posing a few greats questions on keeping both Sabbath and Sunday.  With his permission I have posted the entirety of his email below:

Hey, I’ve looked all over the net for an article that talks about how it is wrong to try and keep both Sunday and the Sabbath, or that it is at least an offense to God to keep Sunday. However, my search has been in vain as I cannot find even a simple Q&A regarding this subject. My reason for this search, is because I often hear the following questions after someone learns the Sabbath truth…………

“OK so Saturday is the Sabbath, so does that means that the keeping of Sunday is a sin?”or

“Is it ok if I keep both Sunday and Saturday?” or “Is it ok if I just rest on Sabbath, and regard my church-going custom to Sunday?”

These are very illogical and irrational, and even down right arbitrary questions, but they are still questions that often get asked and deserve an answer. So I would really appreciate it if you could show me an article or perhaps can give me something from your own writing to help answer the above questions thoroughly enough to be convincing, and of course added scripture would be great!

Those are all great questions, and I’ll do my best here in this post to answer them myself with the aide of scripture, or direct him to sources I find reliable.  Let’s start with the first one.

“OK so Saturday is the Sabbath, so does that means that the keeping of Sunday is a sin?”

I’d like to preface by saying this first, there is a simple and short answer to all these questions, and a more in depth study involving the Sabbath and how it relates to the end of times.  I’ll give the short simple answers here and try to summarize as concisely as possible, the deeper answers.

Is keeping or worshiping on Sunday a sin?  I get this question a lot when I present the Sabbath truth to Christians who worship on Sunday.  My answer is always NO.  Worshiping on Sunday is not a sin, no more than worshiping on Monday to Friday.  In fact, we should be worshiping God at least daily, with our families, or through personal devotion. 1 Chronicles 16:29 states:

29 Give to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!

What is the problem then?  It’s what you do with your time on the Sabbath that counts.  You see, for most Christians, corporate worship is a once a week event, and aside from mid-week prayer services, or Friday night vespers, it almost always falls either on the Sabbath or Sunday.   That means, for most Christians, the Sabbath is their “free” day in the weekend to enjoy themselves.  I used to work retail, in various stores and sectors, and without fail, Saturday was the biggest, most profitable of the week.  My managers would often comment to me that I’m missing out on easy commissions by opting out of working Saturdays.

In contrast, Sunday is the more mellow day of the weekend, due to it historically being the day of worship, particularly in the US where certain states had blue laws and commerce on Sunday was restricted.

So if you’re only worshiping on Sunday, while dilly-dallying around on the Sabbath, I would consider that a violation of the 4th commandment. Which leads us to the next question:

“Is it ok if I keep both Sunday and Saturday?” or “Is it ok if I just rest on Sabbath, and regard my church-going custom to Sunday?”

I personally see no problem with that.  Only God can judge where your heart is, and if the intent of worship is right, and you’re not in violation of any of the Sabbath principles laid out in the Bible, by all means worship on Sunday as well.  In fact, while you’re there, teach your brethren about the Sabbath truth.   I know it’d be hard to all of a sudden just leave the church that you’ve been attending for so long, with friends, family, and relationships that you’ve developed over the time there.  However, I’d also suggest attending a Sabbath-keeping church on Sabbaths as well.  You’d get a double blessing on the weekend.  Besides, you can meet new people, engage in further Bible study, as well as participate in various ministries and outreach programs that the local church may have.  It’d be a lot better than staying home and doing nothing all Sabbath.  Besides, Isaiah states  God’s people will continue to worship God on the Sabbath:

22 “ For as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD,

“ So shall your descendants and your name remain.
23 And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

As far as great resources on the Sabbath/Sunday issue, here are a few links I recommend:

http://www.sabbathtruth.com/ for all your Sabbath related needs🙂

http://amazingdiscoveries.org/s-deception-Sabbath-break-rest-day – Amazing Discoveries have the best Creation seminars I’ve seen (The Genesis Conflict), easily refuting arguments made by evolution proponents.  Check them out.

Any my Sabbath studies of course:

Colossians 2:16

Sabbatismos

Sabbath or Sunday: Examples in the NT

Does 1 Corinthians 16 prove Sunday worship?

Romans 14 talks about Fasting, not the Sabbath

Did the early church keep the Sabbath?

Which law did Christ nail to the Cross?

Acts 20:7 – Does Breaking Bread = Church Service?

Revelations 1:10, What day is the “Lord’s Day”?

Questions for Sunday Keepers

I was actually going to write more to answer the deeper theological ramifications of the Sabbath vs Sunday issue, but I’ll leave it for my next post, as it is indeed a pretty deep study.  Hope these simple answers suffice, and be on the lookout for the next post.  God bless.